10 Documentaries for Triathletes and Runners

Have you set a big scary goal for 2019 and need some extra motivation to chase after it? I’ve rounded up some of the best…


Documentaries for triathletes

Have you set a big scary goal for 2019 and need some extra motivation to chase after it? I’ve rounded up some of the best documentaries for triathletes which will inspire you to swim, bike and run this year…

10 Documentaries for Triathletes and Runners

The Barkley Marathons: The Race That Eats Its Young
The Barkley Marathons is an insane ultra marathon over treacherous terrain in Frozen Head State Park, Tennesee. It’s so gruelling that since it began in 1986, the full, five-loop race has only been completed 18 times by 15 runners. This documentary follows the participants as they push their bodies and minds to their breaking point in an attempt to finish the toughest race in the world.
Available on Amazon Prime Video

Where Dreams go to Die- Gary Robbins and The Barkley Marathons
If you enjoyed the Barkley Marathons film, then you’ll want to check out this documentary which follows endurance athlete Gary Robbins on his quest to complete the race. Despite being an accomplished ultra-runner, he fails to finish the Barkley Marathons two years in a row, missing out by just 6 seconds!
Available on YouTube

Losing Sight of Shore
No swim, bike or run in this documentary, but well worth a watch for some incredible endurance athletes. The Coxless Crew are a team of four women who rowed from San Francisco to Australia setting two world records. They face seasickness, sleep deprivation, confined spaces, salt wounds and monotony as they row across the Pacific Ocean.
Available on Netflix

Tim Don: The Man with the Halo
Tim Don is a pro triathlete who was hit by a car two days before the 2017 Ironman World Championships. He broke his neck and spent 3 months recovering in a halo- a metal frame which was fixed into his skull to hold his head in place. This documentary follows Tim’s rehabilitation as determinedly rebuilds his health and fitness to make a comeback to triathlon.
Available on Red Bull

Running for Good: The Fiona Oakes Documentary
Fiona Oakes is a 4-time world record marathon runner who is training to compete in the “toughest footrace on earth,” the Marathon Des Sables, a 250km race through the Sahara Desert. Incredibly, she has undergone 17 knee surgeries which led to her having her entire right kneecap removed, but still goes on to set world running records.
Available on the Running for Good website

The Ultimate Triathlon
Luke Tyburski sets out to complete a unique endurance challenge he has named The Ultimate Triathlon- a 2000km journey from Morocco to Monaco over 12 days. He swims the Gibraltar Strait, cycles along the entire Southern Spanish coastline then runs the full south coast of France. This film documents the highs and lows of his epic challenge.
Available on Dreamracer.tv

Kim Swims
Kim Swims is the inspiring story of Kimberley Chambers’ attempt to swim 30 miles through a stretch of cold, rough and shark-inhabited waters near the San Francisco coast. She discovers a love of swimming as a way to cope with a severe disability- Kim almost loses her right leg after being diagnosed with a rare condition called Acute Compartment Syndrome which leaves her with a prognosis of a 1% chance of walking unassisted.
Available on Amazon Prime Video

Heart: Flatline to Finish Line
This documentary is the uplifting story of six people with heart conditions who are training to complete Ironman Arizona. The director and producer David Watkins survived surgery to repair a faulty heart valve in which he flat-lined and was without a functional heartbeat for 5 minutes. He meets many people with similar stories and decides to form Ironheart, a group of heart disease survivors who are transforming their lives through triathlon.
Available on Amazon Prime Video

Finding Traction: The Ultra Marathon Documentary
Finding Traction follows ultra-runner Nikki Kimball who is on a mission to become the fastest person in history to run America’s oldest hiking trail, the 273-mile Long Trail. The documentary asks what drives her to attempt such an incredible feat, and follows Nikki’s journey from its beginning – training and racing in the Rocky mountains – to her actual record attempt through Vermont’s beautiful but brutal Green Mountains.
Available on Amazon Prime Video

Skid Row Marathon
Judge Craig Mitchell starts a running club at the Midnight Mission homeless shelter on Skid Row, to give a purpose to people who are homeless, addicted or coming out of the prison system. Together they train for several international marathons whilst improving both their mental and physical health.
Request a screening on the Skid Row Marathon website

And one to avoid….

Tri had the potential to be a great film, it’s a fictional story of a woman with a history of not finishing things who is inspired by a cancer patient to sign up for a triathlon. Unfortunately, Tri is a real let-down as the storyline is cliched and acting very weak. Personally, I prefer real-life stories from inspirational athletes.
If you do want to give it a tri, it’s available on Amazon Prime Video

What are your favourite documentaries for triathletes and runners?

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